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Fighting Cats. Please help ASAP!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My name is Jason. My girlfriend Laurie and I recently moved into a new house together. I have 2, 2 year old neutered male cats and a 4 month old female kitten. She has 2, 6 year old spayed female cats. From the beginning, we've been very cautious as far as introducing all the cats together given our concerns over whether or not they'd all get along together or not. After an initial few weeks or so, we began introducing the cats and they all seemed to get along together just fine. Of course there was the occasional hissing and growling from time to time but there was nary a cat fight and all seemed a-ok.

As time went on, the cats continued to adjust and get along w/ the exception of my 2 year old male, Dooley and her 6 year old female, Pie. An occasional fight would occur and we'd break it up. Still, it was nothing major and all of our friends who are cat owners said to just let them work it out and it'd be ok. So, we went along with them and allowed another month or so to go by in order for them to work it out. We'd break up fights, probably once or twice daily.

As time went on, the fights became worse between the two. Dooley was always the aggressor not once being provoked by the female, Pie. She would tremble in fear. It got to the point where she was urinating at the scene of the encounters out of fear. Her hissing nor her growling did anything to persuade him to keep him from coming after her.

And let me say this. Dooley is the sweetest, most loving cat you'll ever come across. He's very warm and affectionate. If ever there was an ideal housecat that has the perfect tempermant, it is Dooley. You can hold the cat for hours on out. I've had him since he was 6 weeks old and not once has he ever demonstrated aggressive behavior either towards the other male or female kitten that I own, as well as another female he use to live with.

Anyways, we took other advice and seperated Dooley and Pie. They had no contact whatsoever for a month. We gradually would take a brush with his hair on it and show Pie even a month and then 2 months after them having not seen each other and she'd growl and hiss at it. We tried holding him around her in order to re-aquaint the two hoping to re-establish a relationship that over time would allow them to not necessarily love each other but at least co-exist with each other.

It has been 3 months since they've pretty much been apart and again, during that we've had worked to re-establish a relationship. This past week, he accidently got out because the door apparently didn't latch and it opened when he pushed on it. When he came out, he immediately went for her. It was an ugly encounter that was loud and she wet herself and was cut. We were very much shaken up by it and left completely dumbfounded as to why around her and her only.. Laurie's other female cat he's fine around. It's just Pie he goes after.

Unfortunately this morning, we were in the living room fullly aware (so we thought) that Dooley was with us and Pie was locked up in the back of the house. We were that much more certain because we had just checked on them both only minutes earlier and they were completely isolated unable to get to each other. Somehow, some way while checking on them, Dooley got into the back of the house. We were in the living room and heard the loudest, ugliest fight we've ever heard between 2 cats. We went into the bedroom and he was on top of her biting her. She wet the bed and he dissappeared with a mouth full of hair.

At this point we are at a loss as to what to do. No advice we have received from any of our friends has helped. We cannot continune to have cats locked in this or that room. No matter how hard we try to seperate them, it's all but impossible to ensure they are. Dooley is always standing guard right there at door to the room where she's at. We open the door to go in, from time to time, he's going to get in. And he wastes no time in going after her. My parents have offered to take him in. They love him and he's loves them. They have another female cat that he use to live with and gets along with great. I Just recently took him down there 2 weeks ago and he and the female cat played together and had a great time.

At this point, is there anything else we can do as far as keeping him with us? Or should we re-house him by taking my parents up on their offer and giving him to them? It's very difficult for me. I've raised him since he was a baby. The behaviors he is demonstrating are not Dooley-like behaviors. I just would like to know what more can be done or is providing him a new home in the best interest of everyone involved including him? If not permanently, would allowing my parents to have him for a few months and us take him back an option and proceed from there? We both are at a loss. He will have a good home if we have to re-house him. It's just very difficult. We are both very attached to him and my parents living some distance away. We welcome any advice..

Thank you,

post #2 of 3
I don't know if your situation is anything like mine but I feel impelled to reply to you. First of all, if you have someone who has offered to take your cat, you might want to do it. Just to see if that solves the problem.

A couple of years ago I moved with 5 cats from my mom's house, where there were 9 other cats, 2 dogs, and 2 birds. There was also twice as much space. One of my five cats had in the big house been separated because some of my mom's cats chased her (Zoe) all the time.

Once I moved, all five cats were allowed to live together because the cats that bothered Zoe weren't in the household. Then, Zoe and my male cat Dylan teamed up to constantly harass my second female, Ani. They fought constantly. She was petrified, all the time. Rather than give up Dylan and Zoe, I found Ani a home.

In the year that followed, Zoe passed away and Dylan found a new home with a family member because I moved and could only have two cats (I kept the 3rd and 4th cats, Trevor and Sunny, who I still have). I discovered Ani in an animal shelter last NOvember, 13 months after giving her to a home I thought was a good one. Didn't turn out that way. I had by then moved to a place where I can have more than 2 cats, so I re-adopted her.

Within weeks, Trevor and Sunny were harassing her. Constantly. They had never once bothered her before, but now they do. I don't know if Ani is doing something that says "CHASE ME! BEAT ME UP!" but I have no clue what is going on. IN your situation, if you rehome your male and one of the other cats takes to beating up the female, you might question which cat really needs rehomed. I hope it doesn't happen to you that way.

I'm trying to find Ani a home but I'm being extra cautious this time and will not give her up unless I know she will be safe and in a "forever" situation, not ending up in a shelter with her life on the line. She is clearly not happy being bothered, but since I've gotten the kittens it has somewhat subsided but they get into it a few times a week, knock-down drag out fights.

Good luck with your situation. But like I said, maybe try rehoming the male and hopefully that will do it. If you're giving him to family, you can see him whenever you want AND be assured he will be taken care of and loved, which is what really matters to him
post #3 of 3
I would suggest you go into our behavior section of the website- not the forums and look at Tabbytudes, and Herding Cats at Home and see if this issue has been addressed. I am sure it has sometime ago, but can't recall when in order for you to narrow out the search. You can do a website search- independent of a google search as this website has its own search engine- and find it that way as well.

I am not trying to dismiss your concerns, those two columns were written by some excellent cat behaviorists and they contain a lot of information for all- you can also email the current cat behaviorist writing the column currently Herding Cats
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